Google On Brink Of Striking Deals With ABC, The Guardian And Nine As Labor Moves To Pass Code

Sydney, Australia - September 6, 2011: Close up of an Apple Ipad and on a desk showing the Google search engine home screen. There is also a keyboard and some documents on the desk, the documents show charts and graphs. This scene depicts ipad in a working environment.

Google is reportedly on the verge of signing deals with Nine Entertainment, the ABC and the Guardian after months of negotiations over the government’s proposed media bargaining code.

After threatening to pull Google Search from Australia, Google and Seven struck a deal on Monday, where Seven became the first major Australian publication to join the Google News Showcase Initiative.

The deal indicates that Google will no longer pull search from the Australian market.

If the talks are successful, Nine, the Guardian, and the ABC will see their content used on a range of Google’s services. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, deals could be reached within fourty-eight hours.

The Google News Showcase Initiative sees Google paying publications for their “curatorial expertise”. Google pays publishers for certain paywalled articles that only appear on the News Showcase platform. Globally, Google has deals with four hundred and fifty publications and a number of smaller Australian publishers, including Australian Community Media.

The Federal Parliament is preparing to debate the proposed media bargaining code this week. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told ABC radio on Monday that “great progress” had been made with Google, and also with Facebook.

Succesful deals with the publishers would prevent Google from having to participate in an arbitration process, though media executives still largely support the legislation.

Yester, Seven’s Kerry Stokes congratulated Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Rod Sims, Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for their, “outstanding leadership on the implementation of the proposed Media Bargaining Code.”

Talks between Google and the Daily Mail Australia, and with News Corp Australia, are reportedly still ongoing.

Labor set to back Code

News of potential deals with Nine, ABC and The Guardian comes as Labor resolved to support the bill at its caucus meeting on Tuesday.

The decision means the News Media Bargaining Code could be passed through Parliament as soon as Wednesday.

Labor has previously pledged its in-principle support for the code.


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